Williamson Medical Center (WMC) and Blood Assurance, the sole provider of blood products to WMC, are urging all eligible donors to donate blood or convalescent plasma to help area patients. Blood banks are experiencing a decline in donations while usage is back to normal, creating a critical nationwide blood shortage including at WMC. Additionally, COVID-19 related hospitalizations are increasing and the need for plasma from recovered COVID-19 donors continues to rise.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has worked tirelessly to care for our patients through illness or injury,” said Andy Russell, M.D., WMC Chief Medical Officer. “We’re calling on our community members now to help aid in these efforts. We are in dire need of general blood donations, as well as blood plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients, as both supply levels are critically low. If you’ve considered donating, please make an appointment.”
Traditionally when Blood Assurance experiences a shortage, they are able to call on other blood centers for help. During this time, however, all blood centers are experiencing shortages.
COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an FDA investigational treatment where plasma is transfused from a recovered COVID-19 donor into a critically ill patient. Plasma from recovered individuals contains antibodies that attack the virus. To see if you meet requirements to be a convalescent plasma donor, visit www.bloodassurance.org/covidplasma.
“We are asking anybody who can donate blood to schedule an appointment right now,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “Blood and blood plasma cannot be manufactured, and we count on our community members to be heroes every day by donating blood and saving lives.”
Blood Assurance is hosting mobile blood drives each Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee, located at 3000 Edward Curd Lane in Franklin. Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment, visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.
ABOUT WILLIAMSON MEDICAL CENTER
Williamson Medical Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, 24-hour emergency care, preventive health screenings and wellness activities. Services offered by Williamson Medical Center are developed to provide the most cost-effective, convenient and accessible healthcare possible. More than 750 providers represent over 70 medical specialties and sub-specialties. The caliber of physicians and care at Williamson Medical Center continues to advance the way healthcare is delivered to our region with compassion and convenience unique to WMC. Our campus also houses Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center, which provides pediatric emergent and inpatient care, and the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee – the region’s premiere destination for orthopaedic excellence. In addition, WMC’s Williamson Medical Group includes over 35 providers offering everything from primary care to surgery to pulmonary and sleep medicine. For more information, visit www.WilliamsonMedicalCenter.org.
About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.